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How to Pivot Your Skill Set During Covid-19

'When the current situation ends, you should have 100 ideas ready to action,' says communications and marketing specialist Gabriele Hackworthy, who shares her advice for freelancers.
Gabriele Hackworthy | Source: Courtesy
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  • BoF Team

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LONDON, United Kingdom — As creative projects slow as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, freelancers must adapt quickly and consider ways to pivot their traditional skill set, as well as looking to roles and opportunities beyond their usual remit.

Last Monday's BoF Careers HR Roundtable — the first of the week's #BoFLive programming — communications and marketing specialist Gabriele Hackworthy shared best practice on reaching out to your network and reimagining your value proposition.

Hackworthy has navigated marked career changes, from editorial roles within traditional print and e-commerce, through to SVP of global brand communications at Jimmy Choo — modifying her skill set with each move. Now, BoF shares five key learnings.

Use Newfound Constraints to Further Creativity

“Having less to work with can ultimately drive creativity. With brands currently unable to travel overseas for major campaigns, they may move away from the more predictable glossy fashion executions. This brings opportunity for local photographers and more localised creative talent to come to the forefront.”

Reach Out to Your Network

“The industry has more time to look at portfolios, so take the opportunity to make those introductions and connections. As a young creative coming up through the ranks, it’s important to reach out to everyone and pitch new ideas. During a typical season, it can be difficult to dedicate time to creative thinking. When the current situation ends, you should have 100 ideas ready to action.”

Utilise Your Social Media Channels

“Think of social networks as your open, online portfolio. Obviously, authenticity is key. Establish your own point-of-view and aesthetic, but then be consistent in both tone-of-voice and in frequency of posting.”

Build Your Creative Production Skills

“The demand for new visuals creates new opportunity. From 3D animations to collages and illustrations, great content can be built from non-traditional forms of fashion imagery. Now is the time to enhance your portfolio through collaboration with digital animators. When the market opens up again, you will have new forms of storytelling to show clients.”

Learn to Apply Yourself to Wider Job Descriptions

“In my experience, storytelling has been my value proposition. That is a key, commercial marketing tool across both e-commerce, and then in-house with a brand. If you’re coming from an editorial background — writing or styling — you have that skill-set already. It’s mixing words with imagery to create a narrative.”

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